Socialist Worker

West plans more raids as Iraq sinks in violence

As warmongers gather at Nato talks, the mess they created in Iraq leads to a new wave of sectarian killings

Issue No. 2418

Protest against the previous Nato summit in Strasbourg, France, 2009

Protest against the previous Nato summit in Strasbourg, France, 2009


Over 60 heads of state and government are preparing to gather in Newport, South Wales, next week for the summit of Nato warmongers.

Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen claims that “world order is at stake” with “an arc of crises from north Africa to the Middle East and the Caucasus”.

But far from being the solution to the bloodshed across the world, Nato members and their allies have caused it. The clearest evidence comes from Iraq.

The horrific beheading of photo­journalist James Foley and the advance of Islamic State forces are being used to spread calls for intensified US and British involvement in the region. This is pure hypocrisy.

The US and Britain say nothing when their close ally Saudi Arabia beheads people on a regular basis. Human Rights Watch reported last week “Saudi Arabia has executed at least 19 people since 4 August 2014. 

“Local news reports indicate that eight of those executed were convicted of non-violent offences, seven for drug smuggling and one for sorcery.”

And the Islamic State is a product of the devastation caused by Nato members’ actions.  The West imposed sanctions in Iraq from 1990. George Bush and Tony Blair then launched war against Iraq in 2003.

These attacks caused 1.5 million Iraqi deaths and tore apart the country’s social fabric.

Sectarian

The US installed the government of Nouri al-Maliki in 2006 and allowed him to carry out a viciously sectarian policy, favouring elites closest to him.

This is the background to the increasing fury among Sunni Muslims in Iraq which the Islamic State rests on. Hatred of the Mailiki government is what initially enabled the Islamic State to achieve success.

US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said last week, “If you come after Americans, we are going to come after you.”

More bombing, more drones, more US and British terror will only cause a further spiral downwards.

Already there are further signs of murderous sectarian tensions encouraged by the US-backed government.

Last week at least 65 Sunnis were killed at a mosque near Baquba, 70 miles from Baghdad.

The attack was blamed on a militia allied to the Iraqi state.

US and British officials have also said that in their war against the Islamic State, “We’re not going to be restricted by borders.”

This raises the possibility of US air raids in Syria in alliance with president Bashar al-Assad—the man Barack Obama and David Cameron wanted to bomb just a few months ago. 

The Independent newspaper reported, “The US has already covertly assisted the Assad government by passing on intelligence about the exact location of jihadi leaders”.

British foreign secretary Philip Hammond denied that the government will ally with Assad. But he admitted, “We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that he is”.

Peace in Iraq will not come through more intervention.

It will come if imperialism is driven out of Iraq and ordinary people—Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Turkmen and all others—unite against their corrupt rulers.


Fresh Israeli airstrikes destroy mosques and tower in Gaza

A new round of Israeli airstrikes destroyed two mosques on Monday of this week.

A Palestinian woman was killed by tank fire and a man died from his wounds following an airstrike the night before.

This follows the destruction of a 12 storey tower block by an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City.

More than 2,100 Palestinians had been killed in more than a month of attacks as Socialist Worker went to press (see page 17).

Israel resumed its airstrikes on Tuesday of last week after a ceasefire. Around 1,500 people turned out at short notice to an emergency protest outside Downing Street in central London last Saturday.


Thousands set to protest at Nato summit in Wales

Newport, South Wales, is set to see its biggest demonstration in a generation as the Nato warmongers’ summit comes to town.

It opens with a march in Newport on Saturday of this week, followed by a counter conference and a peace camp.

Adam Johannes, secretary of Cardiff Stop the War, told Socialist Worker, “Now almost 100 organisations have signed the No to Nato statement.

“This includes the Stop the War Coalition, the People’s Assembly and Plaid Cymru. 

“Left wing Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and 14 Cardiff councillors have also backed it.”

Activists have distributed 5,000 leaflets into local mosques.

A Palestine bloc on the march has also been called to protest against the West’s support for Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

Adam said, “We’ve seen a new movement emerge in the last month. We now have to join the dots between Palestine, what’s taking place in the Middle East and the struggle against austerity. 

“We’ve called for a sea of Palestinian flags on the streets when US president Barack Obama visits. We’re involving people who’ve been on the Palestine demos in building the anti Nato protests.”

Adam added, “The most powerful people on the planet will be making their voice heard. 

“We must make sure that voices of millions who want an end to war and austerity are also heard.”


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